Oregon fire crews on the lines of S. Calif. wildfires

15 strike teams helping fight devastating blazes

CO strike teams helping in S Calif...

SALEM, Ore. - (Update: Oregon crews on the lines of 2 S. Calif. blazes)

The Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal, through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, has activated its Agency Operations Center and deployed 15 strike teams with equipment and personnel who are now actively engaged in assisting with the wildfires in California, officials said Thursday.

All Oregon resources have been assigned to either the Thomas Fire (seven Oregon strike teams) burning near Ventura, California, or the Creek Fire (eight Oregon strike teams) burning near Sylmar, California. They are very busy currently working on their assignments. Total Oregon deployment: 269 personnel and 75 apparatus.

"Today's forecasted weather will be a test to all firefighters and residents, with winds expected at up to 60 mph," said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Mariana Ruiz-Temple. "These winds are expected to last through Friday, possibly diminishing over the weekend and picking back up again at the beginning of next week."

California OES reports the Thomas Fire is at 96,000 acres and 5% contained, and the Creek Fire is at 12,605 acres and 10% contained.

Be sure to follow the OSFM on Facebook/Oregon Office of State Fire Marshal and Twitter @OSFM for regular updates.

California made the request through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact a national state-to-state mutual aid system. The EMAC request is sent directly to Oregon Emergency Management who contact and coordinate with the appropriate Oregon agency to fulfill the requests.

The Central Oregon/Marion Strike Team is made up of crews from the Bend, Redmond, Sisters-Camp Sherman and Sunriver fire departments, as well as a crew from Aumsville, officials said.

The five agencies' firefighters were to meet the Aumsville crews in Redding and  travel together to Chino, California, where a staging area has been set up. 

"Oregon fire agencies have again answered the call and we are honored to assist our neighbors for the second time this year, said Ruiz-Temple. "California helped us with the fires in southern Oregon this year, we assisted them in October and I am proud that we can again assist them in their time of need."

There's no timeline on how long the Central Oregon strike team will be in Southern California. 

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